Valuing abstract measures of the welfare of a group distinctly and separately from the welfare of the individuals making up that group is a particularly pernicious conceptual invention. Its most recognizable modern incarnations are nationalism and patriotism, but it has been serving as cover for inhumanity and disregard for considerably longer than that. It also serves as a way for people to argue against treating aging as a medical condition: the group is just fine, thank you, and thus it doesn’t matter that all of the individuals in that group are doomed to suffer, diminish, and die. So why do anything about it? A healthier view of the world is that only individuals and their interactions with one another matter, but making that the default mode of thought is something of a challenge in an era of strong centralized governance and wall to wall propaganda for the nation state concept as an entity more important than its citizens.
One of the innumerable romanticizations of death that we’re often presented with is that, as one generation dies out, it’s just passing on the responsibilities of life to the next. Someone else will take on the task
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